Original Articles

Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis of the Distribution and Evolution of Economic Growth in Loess Plateau Region during 1990-2007

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2011-01-01

  Revised date: 2011-04-01

  Online published: 2011-05-25


Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) can finely reveal the characteristics of economic growth of a region in relation to its geographical environment, and therefore is a powerful tool to help us better understanding the spatial-temporal dynamics of the distributions of economic factors in each region. The study of the spatial distribution of per capita GDP of 284 counties in the Loess Plateau region since 1990 using ESDA proved its role in investigating the rules of distribution and evolution of social or economic development. And several points can be highlighted.
First, ESDA reveals significant positive global and local spatial autocorrelation of per capita GDP in the Loess Plateau region throughout the period 1990-2007.
Second, the analysis of scatter plots and local indicators of spatial association (LISA) over the period indicates that there are four significant regional clusters persisting over time. The first is a significant High-High (HH) type of clustering, located mainly in Inner Mongolia—north Ningxia—north Shaanxi in the Loess Plateau region. The other HH forms of clustering are located in Northwest Henan and Southeast Shanxi. The largest areas of low-low (LL) type of clustering are primarily located in the south of Gansu, the south of Ningxia and east of Gansu.
Third, the comparative analysis of per capita GDP and average growth rates of per capita GDP suggests that the development of per capita GDP in the Loess Plateau region is mainly in a way of polarized growth in the past 20 years. And it is predictable that this trend will persist, and even get stronger in the near future. Until now there are no characteristics of β-convergence detected in the Loess Plateau region.
Finally, the stable spatial patterns in Loess Plateau region indicate two kinds of economic growth modes. One is the normal economic growth pushed by industrial agglomeration, and the other is the opportunistic economic growth pulled by energy/resources exploring. The latter is far more powerful in promoting the level of per capita GDP, but always with problems of singleness of industrial type and lack of stability, sustainability and interference immunity during its working process in pulling economic growth.

Cite this article

LIU Yanhua, XU Yong, LIU Yi . Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis of the Distribution and Evolution of Economic Growth in Loess Plateau Region during 1990-2007[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2011 , 30(5) : 627 -634 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2011.05.016


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